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Gotamas and Marker 12s - Ripped the bindings out twice!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Me: 6'3", 200lbs, ability 9+.
Skis: 07/08 Volkl Gotamas, 190cm.
Bindings: Marker 12s.

I picked up my Gotamas in the middle of last season and got 5 unreal days in before I ripped BOTH front bindings out. During a typical kick-ass spring day on Whistler, we were carving out the last run of the day and my ski dissappeared from under my foot. Good thing my bro was following behind, he grabbed my ski and the front binding just popped off. I checked my other ski and found that both front bindings were held on only due to the pressure from my foot. All three screws had become disloged from each ski, not sheared off. The binding just pulled out of the ski.

I assumed incorrect mounting, but the tech that mounted the bindings insisted that they'd had "4 or 5 pairs" of similar skis (Goats, Mantras, some K2s) come through the shop that season with the same problem, and that it's an issue with the design of the wood cores. They remounted 1cm forward, and told me if it happened again they'd take it up with Volkl.

3 days of skiing this year, and I've ripped one binding out again. Alas they're just out of warranty, but REI (my new favorite retailer) will happily exchange them.

My brother's pretty adamant that the 3 screw Marker design isn't sufficient, so I'm thinking of getting new bindings when I take the skis back to REI.

Has anyone heard of a similar issue with these skis/bindings?

I've heard for 08/09, Volkl has added a layer of stronger wood under the binding mount...so I assume it's been an issue. Though I think the 07/08 Goats have the "Tough Box" core as well.

I'm off to Bellingham to replace them and pick up some boots (and maybe bindings), so any advice is much appreciated!

Cheers!
post #2 of 24
This is a bit of a controversial point around here, but Markers (besides some of the race bindings and the Duke series) suck--search for discussion ad nauseum. If you can find some old Look/Rossi turntables, that would be my highest recommendation. Sollie 916s or STH 16s would also be good.
post #3 of 24
Sounds a bit like too much upward leverage from the heels.
post #4 of 24
Hmmmm.....200 lbs and 9+ skier + Marker 12.0 bindings. Did you ever have pre-release issues?

SJ
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraJim View Post
Hmmmm.....200 lbs and 9+ skier + Marker 12.0 bindings. Did you ever have pre-release issues?

SJ
No, never had a problem. I shared the same concerns with the sales guy, and I let him sell me on them, damnit. Should've trusted my instincts...I wasn't planning on picking up Markers so I didn't do any research on them. Didn't help that they were on sale...
post #6 of 24
I pulled my Look bindings out of my PE's twice. Both from the heel though. I guess you never really know if the shop just drilled the holes too big or if you're just a bad ass ripper. I prefer to think the latter.
post #7 of 24
You are a big, strong guy. What's your Din? Surprised they put you in a 12...Marker or not. I'm not a fan of Marker...but I also know the gots have had some issues with bindings pulling out of the board. I really don't know what to say on this one...but I would like at the binding for sure.
post #8 of 24
Any ski without metal runs the risk of this but you have to have a good tech mount your skis.
post #9 of 24
You'll never find out, but I wonder if the tech used a 4.1 bit instead of a 3.5, it makes a HUGE difference. It's not the binding, it's the ski if you haven't had problems with the Marker, stick with it... just make sure the tech knows which bit to use.
post #10 of 24
I am not sure I buy the idea blaming the "core". Wood cores have little to no ability to retain binding screws, it's the topsheet that carries the bulk of the load (especially with a 3.5mm hole -- the topsheet actually mushrooms a bit and forms a large anchor). Sounds like the topsheet is the problem, or the laminate in the area of the topsheet. Do you have any pics of where the screws pulled out? I'd be curious to see a closeup of the holes and the screws.

For sure, a four-screw toe piece will place less load on each screw, all else equal, so it can only help.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
You'll never find out, but I wonder if the tech used a 4.1 bit instead of a 3.5, it makes a HUGE difference. It's not the binding, it's the ski if you haven't had problems with the Marker, stick with it... just make sure the tech knows which bit to use.
he's referring to the size of the bore the tech is using. important for sure,

And I have heard of a rash of issues with this particular ski, regardless of binding model. It has only a fiberglss top layer in the sandwich, less screw grip by far than a metal top sheet or metal mounting sheet in the boot zone, AND it is MADE IN CHINA. As I am primed (biased against chinese production standards) to blame manufacturing quality, take this factor with a grain of salt, but if their (Volkl's) chinese skis keep falling apart (Katana also) one has to wonder.
post #12 of 24
Helicoils.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoof2 View Post
Helicoils.
With epoxy holding them in.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by locknload View Post
...What's your Din?
10, toe and heel. Can't recall ever releasing; never had a solid bail on them though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
I am not sure I buy the idea blaming the "core". Wood cores have little to no ability to retain binding screws, it's the topsheet that carries the bulk of the load (especially with a 3.5mm hole -- the topsheet actually mushrooms a bit and forms a large anchor). Sounds like the topsheet is the problem, or the laminate in the area of the topsheet. Do you have any pics of where the screws pulled out? I'd be curious to see a closeup of the holes and the screws.
Good point, check the pics. The topsheet/laminate looks like it's peeled away, at least this last time. The first time they popped off, it looks like the screws just popped straight out.

The white plugs are from the first time I ripped 'em out.



Quality Controlled!





The other toe, on it's way out:



Earlier in the day the Liftie peeled off a buddha stuffing the skis into the Gondi. Coincidence...or fate!?



Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post
And I have heard of a rash of issues with this particular ski, regardless of binding model. It has only a fiberglss top layer in the sandwich, less screw grip by far than a metal top sheet or metal mounting sheet in the boot zone, AND it is MADE IN CHINA.
Definitely something to consider. Depending on what's available when I finally get down to REI I might switch to the Mantras...which I think are still made in Germany. I love the Gotamas and would be happy to keep them, but I've heard nothing but good things re: Mantras, great in the steep pow and crud, and still a decent carver on the groomed for those limited-snow periods (like all of this season, so far!).

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoof2 View Post
Helicoils.
Not quite ready to go there yet. Since REI is happy to replace them with new skis, I'll leave the helis out for now. I'd definitely put some in if I was stuck with these skis though.

Thanks for everyone's advice, btw. Nobody I've talked to have heard of this problem, nor had any useful advice. Great to hear some knowledgable opionions.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom View Post
You'll never find out, but I wonder if the tech used a 4.1 bit instead of a 3.5, it makes a HUGE difference. It's not the binding, it's the ski if you haven't had problems with the Marker, stick with it... just make sure the tech knows which bit to use.
I'm thinking the same thing.

Dennis
post #16 of 24
LOL at the unfortunate location of the QC sticker.

My bud sent me these pics today....these aren't going to pull again:




post #17 of 24
Well, from the pics, it sure as heck looks like the topsheet split right near the screw holes, so that looks like the problem. Now the question is whether it happened when the screw was going in originally, or coming out....
post #18 of 24
Hey I had the same issue as you did/do. Had the 08/09 Gotamas 183 with Jesters set at 12 and rode about 20 or so days on them until I landed backseat wheeling out of a drop and my right heel piece tore out. Went back to the techies, where they heli-coiled the binding in, but about a few days of skiing afterwards, the same heel piece came off, resulting in a claustrophic tomahawk. The tech later said that my skis delaminated.
I asked for instore credit and picked up some ARV's mounted with the same jesters. Havent had a single problem yet.
Hope everything works out on your end.
post #19 of 24
Sorry quick edit: I rode on the 07/08 goats not the 08/09
post #20 of 24

Yep, just did the same to my K2 AK Enemies on a deep dry day at A Basin.

Took a week to find the toepiece.

The M12.0's are going in the bin, to be replaced with Marker Barons the same as on my Mantras.

3 screws just don't cut it.

post #21 of 24

I believe the 08/09 edition of the Goats was modified (additional layers of fibreglass where the bindings attach?--Sierra Jim should know) from the 07/08 model to address a problem with bindings ripping out.  So, in this case, the problem may be the skis, not the bindings.

 

I have Marker "free" 12 Din bindings on my '07 PEs and I have never had a problem with them (no pre-release issues, no nothing).  Of course, I weigh around 155-160, I'm nowhere near a level 9 skier, my DINs are set at 7 or 8 and I don't do drops of more than 5 or 6 feet, so I'm not stressing the binding/ski interface nearly as much as some of you do.

 

I'm not sure there has been enough info. presented to blame the Marker bindings for the problems Durnin experienced. 

 

STE

post #22 of 24

I prefer to mount my own bindings these days as I've seen/heard of too many issues with bubbled topsheets, pull-outs, crooked mounts, for/aft mis-positioning, etc.  No doubt there are Pro Shops that do a great job and know what they're doing but ... there are always trainees.  I do a bit of woodworking so have plenty of toys to help with the process.

 

I've never had an issue with three-screw toe-pieces on new or old skis pulling free, even on wooden skis, though I'd prefer four-screw mounts simply for the greater stability and reliability of that mount. 

 

If you have any say in the mounting process for questionable skis - make sure the mount is done with proper drill bit size (just a hair larger than the shaft of the screw.  I'd also make sure the screws are long enough after the useless tapered tips are ground off (if long enough, this lets the screws get in deeper with actual threads, but doesn't dimple the base).

 

I'd also ask for the screws to be set in with slow-set marine grade two-part epoxy.  Care must be used when tightening the screws so as not to trap air bubbles below the screw (just have to tighten the screw slowly and reverse it a half turn once every full turn). I put it in the hole with a tooth pick then remove as much as possible, leaving only a thin layer behind.

 

Never over-tighten the screws as this tears the layers of wood fibers apart and 'drills out' the hole.  The epoxy helps hold the layers together and bonds with the wood giving you a screw set in an epoxy/wood mix instead of just wood.

 

This mounting method works exceptionally well. I recently had an old Solomon Titanium heel-piece crack across the middle due to skiing hard on chunky ice. Guess it couldn't take the abuse. It broke 1/2 inch behind the front two screws giving me tremendous leverage against the back two screws of the heel-piece.  I skied most of the morning only noticing the heel was making funny noises.  At lunch, the brake fell off revealing the crack.  I skied it for another 40 minutes and decided the last two screws might come loose if we went down the steeps, so got another pair of skis to finish the day on. 

 

Taking it apart later I found that one screw was still solidly in place while the other had only just begun to slightly pucker and delaminate the top-sheet.

 

Note that marine grade plastic epoxy will not 'lock' the screws in permanently.  It will just make the attachment/hold much more durable.  A sharp twist of a screwdriver will easily 'break free' that hold and the screw will come out easily - just as if screwed into a nut.  In fact, since the epoxy leaves a molded thread impression behind you can simply use a screw with the same thread pattern into the existing threads and it will still hold nicely (been there, done that - three or four times on this pair of skis).

 

I do agree: Three screws just isn't appropriate for modern gear.  The skis are stronger and the bindings are stronger - so why isn't the connection between the two stronger? And with wider skis, why the heck are those mounting screws still only 1.25 or 1.5 inches wide?  Even the wider bindings have narrow mounting holes.  The edges of wide skis have much greater lateral leverage on narrow mounting screws than ever before.  Maybe it's time to slap those industry Dilberts around?

 

.ma

post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durnin View Post

 

Earlier in the day the Liftie peeled off a buddha stuffing the skis into the Gondi. Coincidence...or fate!?




 

 

I have no Buddahs on mine (but I still have bindings). I peeled 'em off because they had "catchy" little edges curling up (at time of purcahse). Ridiculously easy to peel off. Yet, love how they ride.

 

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post

 

I prefer to mount my own bindings these days as I've seen/heard of too many issues with bubbled topsheets, pull-outs, crooked mounts, for/aft mis-positioning, etc.  No doubt there are Pro Shops that do a great job and know what they're doing but ... there are always trainees.  I do a bit of woodworking so have plenty of toys to help with the process. .....

 

I build furniture and use my tools and machines to do it all myself, also. Kind of like rolling your own parachute (you have to know what you've got and blame won't get it done if it's done wrong).

 

Just something I heard: the epoxy is compatible with the wood and fiberglass, but will spread through foam and eat it away, creating a substantial void. In that case, water-resistant aliphatic works, as my understanding is that you are trying to seal the hole, not hold the screw, which is a function of bore size and screw installation.

 

The tech who said the problem went through various models, including Mantra, had it wrong. with all the metal (metal topsheet) in the Mantra, I can see no possible issue holding mount screws, IMHO

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